Charley is a seven-year-old from Norwalk, CA who is battling Leukemia. His Dad says he is a kind-hearted little boy. “He’s shy. But once he breaks through, he’s all in. He wants to be friends and he loves life.”
When Make-A-Wish volunteers visited Charley to discover his one true wish, they found out that he is a huge Jurassic Park fan. In fact, his Dad notes that he watched it every single night before bed for six months straight! So it wasn’t surprising that Charley wished to be a paleontologist and dig up dinosaur bones.
At Make-A-Wish, we love unique wishes like this one and were thrilled to help Charley have the experience of a lifetime. He was able to visit the gorgeous black hills of South Dakota, home to PaleoAdventures, a company dedicated to preserving dinosaur and marine reptile fossils. One hour west of Mt. Rushmore, PaleoAdventures houses many dinosaur dig sites where amateur and pro paleontologists are able to dig up real dinosaur bones.
Dad noted that Charley loved their guide Walter, who was super patient and answered all of his questions. Walter shared the history of the quarry, excavation techniques and proper tool use, and reviewed the safety and scientific guidelines. Charley was even able to take a turn at excavating the site. “I think he realized that sometimes trying new stuff can be fun,” Dad said. “It opened his eyes because he’s nervous about doing stuff.”
Today, Charley is continuing to bravely fight his health battle and doing well. He even recently welcomed a new baby sister into the family. Dad says, “Since we’ve gone on the trip, Charley has done stuff he would never do before. On the trip we got to go to a water park and he zip lined and rode the water slides with me. Now he’s open-minded. His legs hurt from his treatments but he’s playing baseball now – he still perseveres. Make-A-Wish has been a blessing.”
* Charley's wish made possible with the generous donation and support from our friends at Phenomenex